Wednesday, January 1, 2014

New Year's Resolutions for Your Job Search

Now that the holiday rush is over, it’s time to start jumping back into the job search. During the first quarter, hiring kicks up for most businesses as new goals are made for the upcoming year. Hiring  activity increases as employers take on more employees to meet these new objectives, according to Kathleen Brady, a career coach based in New York City.

With these optimistic trends, now is a good a time as any to start your job search full swing, and with these career-based Resolutions, you may be ringing in the New Year with a new career.

Schedule Your Time. Set aside a time each day dedicated to the job search. Decide how long you want to spend each day (an hour is a good rule of thumb), and stick to it. If you need to, mark it in your calendar, set your Outlook or Google calendar, or put a reminder on your phone.

Clean Up your Online Presence. Employers don’t just look at your resume and LinkedIn profile anymore, they now peruse your Facebook pages and Twitter feeds as well. Last year, InsideFacebook reported a study from CareerBuilder in which 37 percent of employers admitted to viewing applicants’ social pages during the hiring process. Take down or set stricter privacy settings on anything that may be questionable, and in the future keep in mind any future bosses that may be looking at your profiles.

Update Your Resume and Personalize Your Cover Letter. It’s a new year, so make sure that your resume and cover letter reflects your newest career accomplishments and goals that you achieved over the last year.

Track Your Activity and Contacts. Since the average job search is anywhere from three to nine months (especially for an entry-level job), you will more than likely be in contact with many different types of people, companies, and positions over the course of your job search. It may be wise to create an Excel spreadsheet with all relevant information about each of the positions that you have applied for, along with a calendar to keep track of important dates and information, including interview dates, follow-up emails, thank you notes, etc.

Target Your Job Search. With hiring trends in your favor, now is the time to start taking a more selective approach to not only the types of positions that you are applying for, but also the companies and industry. Think about what kind of work environment, job duties, and type of work that you enjoy, and hone in your job search to reflect those qualities. Quality, not quantity will help you find a job that is a perfect fit for your and your desires.

Expand Your Network. While it’s great to apply to positions through job boards such as Monster and CareerBuilder, only a small percentage of jobs are found through these sites. Don’t forget about the importance of building relationships with those who have connections in an area that you are interested. LinkedIn is a great source to find, connect, and meet professionals who can help you build a better career.

For those transitioning out of the military, Orion International offers great tools to help you get started in your career search. You can find resume help, interview preparation, military transition timelines, and more on our Transition Corner page.

Happy New Year, and happy job hunting!


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